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Jülich Research Partnerships with China on Climate Change and Renewable Energies

[18. November 2009]

Jülich, 18 November 2009 - During a visit to China by the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, and Innovation Minister, Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, several cooperation agreements were signed by representatives of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Chinese partners. The existing successful collaboration with Beijing University on atmospheric research was expanded. Together with the Chinese solar module producer TianWei Solarfilms, research will be conducted on quality assurance for thin-film solar modules.

The two partners will consolidate their collaboration in atmospheric research by a Memorandum of Understanding signed during the visit by Prof. Harald Bolt, member of the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum, and Prof. Qifeng Zhou, President of Beijing University. Amongst other aspects, the agreement envisages the exchange of visiting professors. Furthermore, large-scale equipment at Forschungszentrum Jülich and at the University will be used jointly for field experiments and process studies.

The contact in Jülich is Prof. Andreas Wahner, director at the Troposphere Department of the Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere. Prof. Wahner has collaborated with scientists from Beijing University for a number of years. Amongst other activities, in 2006 he headed a measurement campaign on air quality in Beijing. This work identified the most important causes of atmospheric pollution in the conurbation around Beijing and the Pearl River Delta. An important goal was to improve air quality for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

In order to pursue these joint research interests more effectively, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Cologne are planning discussions with their Chinese partners on cooperation in the field of climate change and energy in Beijing. To this end, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding and are exploring ways in which the potential offered by this collaboration can be better exploited. This cooperation could provide an umbrella for joint research on climate change and energy use, on promoting a dialogue on environmental and energy technology, and on the education and training of experts from the two countries.

Collaboration on solar modules comprises, in particular, studies on the long-term stability and performance of industrial solar modules based on silicon thin-film technology. To this end, earlier this week, an agreement was signed in the presence of Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, Innovation Minister Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, and Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Cornelia Pieper. "We will all benefit from this cooperation," said Prof. Uwe Rau, director at the Jülich Institute of Energy Research. "Thin-film solar modules based on silicon represent an innovative and above-all inexpensive form of renewable energy for the Chinese market. Many decades of research and development work can now be implemented worldwide on an industrial scale. The combination of commercial-scale experience - as also available in China - with our basic know-how will lead to valuable new findings, which can also be applied by German equipmentconstructors".

In photovoltaic research, Jülich concentrates on thin-film solar cells made of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon. This material enables efficient and inexpensive solar modules to be fabricated on large areas using small amounts of material and energy. In Jülich, all research and development issues are investigated comprehensively - starting from the basic material properties, cell development and process engineering, up to and including quality control.


Press contact:

Kosta Schinarakis
tel. +49 2461 61 4771